Fire Officials Renew Warning After E


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Mar 22, 2023

Fire Officials Renew Warning After E

MEDFORD — Medford Fire Chief John Freedman and State Fire Marshal Peter

MEDFORD — Medford Fire Chief John Freedman and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey are urging residents to use, charge, and store lithium-ion batteries safely, especially the larger batteries used by scooters, e-bikes, and other micro mobility devices.

"This was the second major fire to start with a lithium-ion battery in Medford in just over a month, and unfortunately we expect to see more," said Chief Freedman. "These two fires alone have displaced almost a dozen people and sent three of them to the hospital. If you, a family member, or roommate have a scooter, e-bike, or other device powered by lithium-ion batteries, it's extremely important to understand the hazards involved and take the right steps to avoid them."

The Medford Fire Department responded to the area of 54 Dartmouth St. at about 10:27 a.m. on June 3. On arrival, the first crews onscene observed heavy smoke and flames from the top floor of the 2½ story, two-family home. The fire grew rapidly, with second and third alarms being struck and firefighters from Arlington, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Melrose, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, and Winchester responding as mutual aid. The fire was brought under control in about an hour and a half.

The origin and cause of the fire were investigated by the Medford Fire Department, Medford Police Department, and State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal's office. Based on an examination of the scene and interviews with witnesses, including those who were hospitalized, investigators determined that the fire began in a bedroom on the top floor, and started with a lithium-ion battery that was being charged in that area. The battery was used for an e-bike that was stored outdoors.

"Lithium-ion batteries store a tremendous amount of power," said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. "When they burn, they burn extremely hot and extremely fast. A fire like this can ignite nearby combustibles, furniture, and the structure itself, just as we’ve seen in these two recent fires. It's vitally important to use, store, and charge them according to the manufacturer's instructions, to remain nearby when they’re charging, and to disconnect them from the power source once they’re charged."

Chief Freedman and State Fire Marshal Ostroskey offered these additional safety tips for lithium-ion batteries and the many devices they power:


Electric Scooters Found in Area of Origin

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